The pure white of the ricotta cheese nesting among the red and green in this pasta make this presentation very festive. Be sure to reserve a few basil leaves so that you can scatter them over the dish, here and there, for a look of casual perfection.
3 garlic cloves
40 roasted plum tomato halves [https://mangia.nyc/tomatoes-everything-to-it/]
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon crumbled dried marjoram
1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
1 ½ pounds cavatappi (corkscrew-shaped pasta, about 1 ½ inches long)
1 pound whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup torn basil leaves, with a few reserved for garnish if desired
Make the sauce: Peel, trim, and thinly slice the garlic.
In a blender or food processor, using the on/off button, coarsely chop the roasted tomatoes in batches. (Or chop them by hand.)
In a large skillet, saute the garlic in the olive oil over medium heat, stirring, until softened, but do not let it brown. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, chicken broth, marjoram, oregano. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, until the sauce is very thick and rich. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir to separate, and cook over high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. (Or follow the cooking directions on the package.) Drain in a colander. To prevent the pasta from sticking together, spread it out on a large baking sheet or platter and let it cool, about 15 minutes. Cover and hold at room temperature for up to 3 hours.
In a medium bowl, whip the ricotta with a fork until creamy.
In a large serving bowl, preferably ceramic, combine the pasta, sauce, and all but a few of the basil leaves, tossing gently to combine.
Make a well in the center of the pasta salad and spoon the ricotta into it. (Or, if desired, serve the ricotta in a small bowl for passing at the table.) Scatter the reserved basil leaves over the salad and serve.